Things You Likely Didn’t Know Are Free at Disney World

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You can take your own photos with characters for free at Disney World.

Yes, Disney World is a pricey vacation. But there are ways to save without losing one ounce of the magic. And these 25 FREE things are the place to start! Some are well-known and some are hidden secrets.

Read More: More ways to save money at Disney World.

closeup of little girl holding a 1st visit pin at Walt Disney World
There are so many fun things that are free at Disney World, like these celebration buttons. Photo Credit: Breeze Leonard

SheBuysTravel Tip: You can now book Disney vacations up to 500 days in advance! That means you can book now for visits in 2023. All it takes is a $200 down payment. The balance isn’t due until 30 days prior to travel. You can get details on this, as well as help booking, from our partners at Get Away Today. Not only does the company have the lowest prices, it offers a best price guarantee. If you ever find park tickets cheaper, Get Away Today won’t just match the price, the company will beat it.

Free for Everyone

1. Celebration Buttons

Every year people from all over the world visit WDW to celebrate a variety of events — birthdays, anniversaries, girls’ trips and more. Disney helps make your visit extra special by giving you a FREE celebration button! First time visitor? Ask for a button celebrating your first visit. It makes a great souvenir.

2. Visit the Disney Resorts

You do NOT have to be a resort guest to visit a Disney resort hotel. Take a look around. Enjoy a meal at the restaurants. Just don’t head to the pool. It’s the only thing that’s off-limits to anyone who isn’t a guest of the resort. If you have an ‘off day’ during your trip, go see the animals at Animal Kingdom Lodge or try the chocolate-dipped bacon at the Polynesian Resort. They are two of the Disney hotels you should visit even if you aren’t staying there.

We also recommend heading to Wilderness Lodge to see the geyser erupt or planning some time to lounge and read on the “beach” at Disney’s Beach Club.

3. PhotoPass Cast Members Photos

You can spend big bucks for the Memory Maker package and download the photos taken by the professional photographers. Or you can hand one of the PhotoPass photographers your phone and get the same photo for FREE! Also if you purchased Genie+ don’t forget to check out the special PhotoPass Lenses in the My Disney Experience app. You’ll have access to them on the day you purchased Genie+ for.

Read More: Is the Memory Maker worth the cost? 

Finding Olaf at the Frozen Ever After ride.
My 6-year-old couldn’t wait to find Olaf and give him a hug! Photo Credit: Breeze Leonard

4. Character Autographs

There are so many character meet and greets throughout the Disney Parks and they’re all FREE! Your kids will have fun collecting all of the autographs from their favorite Disney characters. Don’t forget to visit Olaf in Disney’s Hollywood Studios; you know how much he loves warm hugs!

5. Hidden Mickey Scavenger Hunts

There are two free Hidden Mickey Scavenger Hunts at Wilderness Lodge. You do not have to be a guest to participate. Searching for hidden Mickeys is a lot of fun or the kids and they’ll receive a special reward at the end of the hunt. Or look for Hidden Mickeys all over the Walt Disney World theme park area. They’re hidden in plain sight.

6. Disney’s Play App

The Disney Play App has interactive games that you can play throughout the park and while waiting in line. From trivia to scavenger hunts, there is a lot to discover. You’ll earn magical achievements as you put to the test your knowledge of All Things Disney.

The Play app is free at Disney World
Download the FREE Disney Play App to help pass the time when waiting in line. Photo Credit: Breeze Leonard

7. Ice Water

Ice water or a cup of ice is FREE at Disney World, inside the Disney Parks at most counter service and snack stations. If you have a refillable bottle, they aren’t allowed to fill it for you, but they will give you as many cups of water as you need to fill it up.

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Ice water is free at Disney World.
Save money by getting FREE ice water throughout the parks to refill your water bottle. Photo Credit: Breeze Leonard

8. Dining Under the Age of 3

Kids 3 and under don’t eat for FREE at Disney World but they are able to dine from a parent’s plate even at buffets and family-style dining at no charge!

9. World Showcase Kidcot Fun Stops

These Kidcot Fun Stops can be found in EPCOT. Kids will have the chance to discover sights and sounds from 11 different countries and make crafts that they can take home as souvenirs. This is especially fun if you’re bringing kids under the age of 5 to Walt Disney World.

10. Complimentary Drawing Lessons 

There are now two places where you can enjoy FREE drawing lessons every day at Walt Disney World. One of those is found at the Art of Animation resort. These classes are open to all guests even if you’re not staying at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. The second one is the Animation Experience at the Conservation Station in Animal Kingdom.

Drawing lessons can be free at Disney World.
These complimentary drawing lessons are so much fun for both kids and adults. Photo Credit: Breeze Leonard

11. Stickers

When I visited Walt Disney World with my three little girls, several Cast Members offered them stickers throughout all of the parks. My middle daughter is obsessed with stickers, so this freebie was very much appreciated!

Stickers are free at Disney World
Your kids will have fun collecting stickers from Cast Members all over the parks. Photo Credit: Breeze Leonard

12. Parades and Fireworks

Don’t miss out on seeing the parades and fireworks when visiting Disney World. One of my favorite moments is watching my kids sing and dance as the parades go by or seeing their eyes light up as the fireworks light up the night sky. Be sure to check the My Disney Experience App to see the schedule for the parades and nighttime shows.

Not able to get into the parks? You can see the Magic Kingdom fireworks from both the Grand Floridian and the Contemporary Resort.

Read More: Nighttime Shows at Disney World.

Parades are free at Disney World.
Make time to stop and watch the parades and fireworks, they are part of the Disney experience. Photo Credit: Breeze Leonard

13. Wifi is Free at Disney World

Did you know that you can access complimentary wireless high-speed Internet access all of the Disney Parks and water parks? This is great since you’ll want to use it to play the Disney Play App while waiting in lines. The Wifi seemed to work just fine for running the My Disney Experience and Disney Play App. There have been reports of some dead zones but I only experienced issues with the Wifi signal when I was on the rides.

14. Transportation Trading Cards

Did you know that you can collect cards from all of the transportation options at Disney World? Just ask the driver, captain, or operator for a card and try to collect them all! (They also gave us stickers on our last visit!)

15. Explore Disney Springs

Take some time to enjoy Disney Springs during your visit to Orlando, Florida. You could spend an entire day shopping and eating at Disney Springs. You do not have to have a park ticket to visit so this slice of Disney magic is free. Little kids especially love checking out the giant LEGO sculptures and taking pictures with them.

Need help planning your Disney trip? Get all your questions answered from our Disney Planning & Fun Facebook Group!

16. Take a Boat Ride

While you’re at Disney Springs head down to the landing and hop on a boat bound for Old Key West, Port Orleans, or Saratoga Springs Resort. You can either hop off and walk around or take the boat back to Disney Springs. The views are beautiful and it’s a great break (usually with a breeze).

17. Pixie Dust 

Of course, it’s not a Disney Vacation unless you’re sprinkled with Pixie Dust, right? Did you know that you can get complimentary Pixie Dust at Magic Kingdom? Visit Sir Mickey’s to receive your FREE pixie dust. It’s sure to have you glowing all day long!

SheBuysTravel Tip: This complimentary pixie dust is not offered at the Main Street Barber Shop unless you’ve booked services with them.

girl making scrunched up disgusted face after tasting beverly soda at Epcot club cool
Half the fun of Club Cool is watching for the reactions! Photo Credit: Nasreen Stump

18. Sip Some Sodas.

After a brief shutdown, move and total overhaul (whew!) Club Cool is available again at EPCOT. Kids love tasting Coca Cola products from around the world. Make sure to snap a picture when they try the Beverly. Slight changes have been implemented due to Covid. Your family will stand in line and parties are sent one at a time to an available machine.

19. Go to a Concert.

On a recent visit to Disney with a friend we realized live music needed to be added to this list. She saw the Rembrandts perform at EPCOT’s America Gardens Theatre. I’ve also seen a few shows there. While a few require special seating the vast majority are free and are a fun add-on to your vacation. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a great place to see street performers and listen to music from around the world.

20. Dance all night.

For the 21+ crowd you can enter the Atlantic Dance Hall for free. It’s located on Disney’s BoardWalk area and is a great place for a date night at Disney.

21. Disney Transportation 

Travel between the parks at Walt Disney World by motor coach. Or hop onto the monorail. While the free Disney Magical Express transportation from the Orlando airport may be gone everything else still exists. Riding the Skyliner is one of my kids favorites.

Many transportation options are free at Disney World.
There are so many FREE ways to travel to and from the parks and resorts. Photo Credit: Breeze Leonard

22. The Electrical Water Pageant

The Electrical Water Pageant is another nighttime display that can be seen from the Magic Kingdom during extra magic hours (another freebie available to visitors who stay in a Disney hotel) and from resorts nearby including the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the Polynesian Resort, and Wilderness Lodge. “A bright green sea monster leads an enchanting, twinkling musical pageant you can see and hear from locations along the shore.” For more details and the daily schedule visit here.

Free For Disney World Resort Hotel Guests

23. Free Movie and Campfire Sing-Along

Enjoy free movies at Walt Disney World resorts. Each resort calls it ‘“Movies Under the Stars.” Check with the front desk at your resort for the schedule or call (407) 939-2273. The most popular place to see a movie under the stars is the Fort Wilderness Campground and Resort. It includes a campfire sing-along. These free activities are only available to Walt Disney World resort guests, but you do not have to attend the ‘Movie Under the Stars’ at the resort where you’re staying. You can visit any of the other resorts for FREE.

24. Luggage Storage 

If you’re planning to check out of your resort and spend the day in the park before heading home, you can request that the resort hold your luggage until you return. In fact, during our recent stay the Coronado Springs Resort, we were able to call down to the front desk and tell them we were checking out and needed our luggage stored until we picked it up at the end of the day and they sent someone to carry it down for us.

25. Free Fitness and Yoga Classes

Don’t leave out lakeside yoga when vacation planning! If you’re a guest of the Contemporary Resort or Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, then you can enjoy a 30-minute yoga class on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. This class is limited to 15 guests and kids are welcome to join as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

Staying at the Swan or Dolphin? Free fitness classes are included with your resort fee and the options are extensive!

Where to Buy Disney Tickets

We recommend purchasing your Disney tickets through Get Away Today. Not only does the company have the lowest prices, but it also offers a best price guarantee. If you ever find park tickets cheaper, Get Away Today won’t just match the price, the company will beat it. If you call to make your purchase be sure to mention SheBuysTravel

Breeze Leonard is a travel enthusiast and the affiliate manager for SheBuysTravel. A marketing and advertising specialist, she is also a social media strategist and travel writer, with several years’ experience writing for digital media. A Texan born and raised, Breeze left a corporate career to fulfill her passion for seeing the world with her three little girls. Their adventures have taken them across the globe, spanning visits to favorite Caribbean isles and motoring cross-country in an RV through some of America’s most beloved national parks. She believes that no adventure is too small and that every memory made, good or bad, is part of the family’s story.
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5 responses

  1. I really enjoyed your list of free things at Disney world, but several of the items are no longer free.

  2. Thank you for all the wonderful information!!

  3. Hi. Magic Bands are no longer free to guests even staying at a Disney resort. We were there recent and there was a charge.

  4. What a great list! My daughter wanted to go to Disney for her 25th birthday this year and was so super excited to be sprinkled with pixie dust…she actually squealed! lol She’s like, the glitter queen so she loved it! We never would have known about it if not for this post, so thank you!

  5. Hello,
    My name is Jim Flauto and my Wife Judy & I are on our Daughter Alexa’s After prom Committee.
    I was wondering if it would be possible to receive Disney Props such as Stand up Characters,Posters etc.. for Her After Prom in the Spring of 2020.
    We are going to be having a Disney Theme for Nordonia High School’s Afterprom.
    Characters of interest include Little Mermaid,Toy Story,Lion King,Princess and the Frog,etc….Alexa Favorite Disney Character is Princess Tiana!
    I do have a School Tax ID #. It is 36-6557701.
    Nordonia High School 8006 S.Bedford Rd. Macedonia,Ohio 44056

    Thank you for the Consideration,
    James Flauto
    8843 Sherri Dr
    Macedonia,Ohio 44056

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